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Army of Two Video Shows Off New Cooperative Techniques

We all know the rumors surrounding Electronic Arts for the past few years or so. The grape vine has told us time and again that EA has a nasty habit of treating its employees like crap, punishing original thought, and never working for anything but a bottom line dollar sign. Some of these rumors may be true, others are certainly false (but not the ones about the dollar signs and employee treatment). However, Army of Two, the newest title being developed out of EA’s Montreal Studio, cannot be said to carry evidence of any of these nasty labels.

Word has it that the employees are being treated like royalty on this project and the studio is being given all the time they need to complete it, as the game is scheduled for one of those infamous when-it’s-done releases (although press reports from the company suggest a mid-late 2008 release).

It is immediately obvious that the formula is innovative. It is designed from the ground up as a two-player experience, not unlike the cooperative missions in Splinter Cell: Chaos Theory. Every level will be tailored to a two player style including never before seen techniques and moves that will require unprecedented amounts of team work. One of the more subtle ideas that aren’t shown in the trailer (though are visible) is a new system that draws attention to the player shooting the most. It sounds simple, but in function it’s actually a really cool concept. If one player lays down a bunch of cover fire, he will start to glow red signifying that enemies are focusing on him. The other player will become slightly transparent signifying that he isn’t being watched. Then, while all the enemies are focusing their fire on the red player, the teammate can sneak around for a few unobserved head shots. In practice it’s kind of like agro in an MMO.

Nevertheless, despite it's solid premise, the game still looks choppy and far from refined at this point. The targeting is a mess, and a lot of the motions look like bantha fodder. But that doesn't mean you can't enjoy the trailer...because it's probably in your best interest to enjoy the trailer, despite the flaws mentioned above.